'Outlander': 17 of the Biggest Moments From Season 2

9:00 AM 7/19/2016

by Sydney Bucksbaum

From French court intrigue to the Jacobite rebellion, here are all the major highlights from season two of the Starz time traveling romance drama.

Outlander Sam Heughan Caitriona Balfe S02 E209 H 2016

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the Outlander season two finale, "Dragonfly in Amber."]

Outlander doesn't believe in neat and tidy happy endings. At least, not the kind that romantic dramas typically serve up to viewers in movies and TV shows.

Author Diana Gabaldon routinely finds way to separate the two main characters at the center of this unconventional love story: 17th century Highlander Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) and WWII nurse Claire Beachamp Randall Fraser (Caitriona Balfe). And Ron Moore, executive producer of Starz's adaptation of the time-traveling romance novels, has brought Gabaldon's stories to life for two seasons now, and the heartbreak and shocking twists the show's leads brought forth in season two will forever change the series moving forward.

From the shadowy and complicated politics of the French court to the bloody and harrowing battles in the Scottish Highlands, here are all the biggest moments from Outlander season two:

  • Claire Returns to the Future

    The season two premiere opened with quite a shock for both book readers and non-book readers alike: Claire was back in the future and reunited with her first husband, Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies). And not only was she back, but she was pregnant with Jamie's child! Once Claire confessed the truth about where she's been for the past few years, her marriage to Jamie, and her pregnancy, Frank took the high road and decided to raise Jamie's child as his own.

    But it was hardly a happy time for Claire, as she was forced to come to terms with the fact that British won the Battle of Culloden against the Scottish Highlanders, meaning everything that she and Jamie tried to achieve in the past was all for nothing, and Jamie likely died in the battle. And Frank's only term was that he'd take her back and help raise her child if she promised to stop searching for anything that mentions Jamie's fate in historical records or mention anything about the child's true father until Frank dies. And she kept her promise: she doesn't say a word about Jamie to her daughter Brianna (Sophie Skelton) until the season two finale, after Frank had passed away 20 years later.

  • Claire and Jamie Plan to Sabotage the Jacobite Rebellion

    But then Outlander jumped back in time to 1745, where the season one finale ended with Jamie and Claire arriving in France as they escaped all the trauma that occurred at the hands of Black Jack Randall (also Menzies). The mood between the two expecting parents was hopeful as they began their plans to sabotage the Jacobite rebellion before the disastrous Battle of Culloden could occur, since Claire knew from history that the battle would mean the end of the Highlander culture. If they can change the future, they can save everyone they love. But viewers knew from the flash forward at the beginning of the premiere that all their efforts would fail, starting the season on quite the conflicted note.

  • Claire Makes Her First Enemy in France

    After Jamie and Claire put down roots in France, Claire wasted no time in making her first enemy in her new home. A ship full of sick men docked in port, and Claire being Claire immediately diagnosed the crew with smallpox. Because the disease is highly contagious, the harbormaster ordered the ship and its cargo to be burned. Le Comte St. Germain (Stanley Weber), one of the businessmen who lost a ton of money in the fallout from Claire's actions, was not happy, and if looks could kill, Claire would have died right then. She would later regret making him her enemy.

  • The Ghost of Black Jack Randall Haunts Claire

    When Claire and Jamie visited the Palace of Versailles, Claire was shocked to learn from the Duke of Sandringham (Simon Callow) and Black Jack's brother Alex Randall (Laurence Dobiesz) that Black Jack did not die at Wentworth Prison like she originally thought. But she decided to keep that shocking revelation a secret from Jamie, causing their relationship to splinter.

    Their marital issues only grew after Jamie learned the truth about Black Jack when they came face-to-face. He was surprisingly happy to find out that his worst enemy was still alive, because that meant he could kill Black Jack himself. But since Black Jack was Frank's ancestor, Claire knew that he had to father a child with Mary Hawkins (Rosie Day) before Jamie could kill him, and so she made him promise not to kill Black Jack for one year. The resulting fight was nasty and caused irreparable damage to their relationship.

  • Le Comte St. Germain Gets His Revenge

    After only a few months in Paris, Claire's life was threatened when she was poisoned. Although she was not able to confirm it until later, Le Comte St. Germain was the man behind the attack on her life. He also orchestrated an attack on her while she was with the young and innocent Mary Hawkins and their bodyguard Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix). During the attack, Mary was raped, and later at a dinner party, a misunderstanding caused everyone to believe Mary's boyfriend Alex Randall was the one who raped her.

  • Claire Loses Her baby

    Despite the fact that Jamie promised he would not kill Black Jack for one year, Claire found the two men dueling in the woods. Jamie managed to severely wound Black Jack before they were both arrested for dueling, and the trauma of witnessing the entire event caused something to go wrong with Claire's pregnancy. She was rushed to the hospital where she gave birth, but the baby was stillborn and she almost died herself from complications from the birth.

  • Claire Learns Why Jamie Broke His Promise

    After believing that Jamie betrayed her trust and broke his promise about waiting a year to kill Black Jack, Claire finally learned the truth about why the duel happened. She had noticed that young Fergus (Romann Berrux), her and Jamie's adopted son, was having nightmares, and he confessed to her that Jamie caught Black Jack raping him in a brothel after Fergus tried to steal perfume for Claire from Black Jack's room. Jamie heard the screams and ran in to stop it, and that's when he challenged Black Jack to a duel.

  • Claire Pays Master Raymond Back for Saving Her Life

    While the hospital workers could not figure out how to save Claire after she gave birth, her friend Master Raymond (Dominique Pinon) knew just what to do. He helped save her life, and she was able to pay him back almost immediately while petitioning the King of France (Lionel Lingelser) to release Jamie from the Bastille. The King wanted Claire to use her famed "La Dame Blanche" powers to uncover the truth about two suspected dark arts users: Master Raymond and Le Comte St. Germain. She tried save both men knowing she could never live with herself if she killed anyone, but after Master Raymond's life was spared, he used sleight of hand to Claire's rival (after St. Germain admitted to trying to poison her earlier). King Louis XV then banished Master Raymond from France and then raped Claire in his room in exchange for Jamie's freedom.

  • Claire and Jamie Return to Scotland

    After Claire's actions with the King, Jamie was released from the Bastille, and the couple hashed out their issues and apologized for all that happened between them. They decided to try again to have another child, and after they buried their daughter Faith, they decided to leave Paris and return to Scotland.

  • Jamie Gets an Army

    Back in Scotland, Claire and Jamie, along with Laoghaire's (Nell Hudson) help, manage to convince Jamie's grandsire Lord Lovat (Clive Russell) to give them an army to help the Jacobite cause, allowing them to join up with Bonnie Prince Charlie's (Andrew Gower) army. And because Laoghaire repented for her actions from season one when she almost got Claire executed for being a witch, Claire made Jamie thank her, accidentally giving Laoghaire encouragement for her crush on Jamie. This seemingly small exchange will come into play in a major way in season three.

  • The Highlanders Win the Battle of Prestonpans

    Thanks to the element of surprise, the Highlanders were able to win against the British in the Battle of Prestonpans. But their victory was bittersweet, as Angus (Stephen Walters) died from his injuries incurred during the fight.

  • Claire Reunites With the Duke of Sandringham

    After Claire, Jamie and Dougal's (Graham McTavish) men get ambushed by the British, Claire pretended to be a hostage of theirs so Dougal could negotiate the Highlanders' release. Claire was then taken to her safety by the British soldiers … to the Duke of Sandringham's home. Claire was shocked to discover that Mary Hawkins was also there, as she is the Duke's goddaughter. While waiting for Jamie and Murtagh to rescue her, Claire discovered that the Duke's valet, Danton (Andrea Dolente), was the man who attacked her and raped Mary back in France. Mary killed Danton to finally get her revenge, and Murtagh beheaded the Duke for his attempted double-cross and for his part in Mary and Claire's attack.

  • Black Jack Marries Mary

    Claire finally learned the truth about Frank's ancestry when she accidentally ran into Mary Hawkins in Inverness and learned that she was pregnant with Alex Randall's child. But since Alex was dying, his last request was for his older brother Black Jack to marry Mary and raise the child as his own so the two of them would have their futures ensured. That explains how Black Jack was recorded as Frank's ancestor, even though Mary was in love with Alex.

  • Brianna Learns About Her True Parentage

    When Outlander jumped ahead to 1968 in the season two finale, it was long after Frank had passed away. Brianna spent her entire life believing he was her father, but when she found evidence in Scotland along with Roger Wakefield (Richard Rankin) about what really happened to Claire in Scotland, Claire finally confessed the truth about Jamie. Brianna got into a fight with her mother because she didn't believe Claire's crazy story about traveling through time, but after a chance encounter with Gillian Edgars aka Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek) before she went through the stones, Claire, Roger and Brianna all witnessed Gillian traveling through time at Craigh Na Dun, and Brianna finally believed Claire.

  • Claire and Jamie Kill Dougal

    Back in 1746, before Claire returned to Frank, the morning of the Battle of Culloden had arrived. Claire and Jamie were desperate to stop it on the morning it was fated to happen, so they considered assassinating Prince Charlie. But before they could even decide to go through with that, Dougal overheard them talking, and he tried to kill them for treason. Claire helped Jamie overpower his uncle, and the two of them kill Dougal.

  • Jamie Forces Claire to Return to Frank

    After murdering Dougal, and knowing the Battle of Culloden was about to begin, Jamie realized Claire needed to go through the stones for her safety … and the safety of their unborn child. He had figured out that she was pregnant again, and knowing that she had to protect their baby, Claire agreed to leave Jamie in the past and return to Frank. After one last time making love in front of the stones, Claire went back to the future.

  • Claire Decides to Go Back In Time Again

    Back in 1968, Claire received the shock of her life when Roger told Claire that he found historical evidence that proved that Jamie did not die at the Battle of Culloden as she previously thought. Armed with newfound hope that she would see Jamie again, Claire decided to go back through the stones to the past, despite the fact that 20 years had passed since she and Jamie separated.

    Outlander's return date for season three has yet to be announced.